Artemis BJJ (Impact Gym), Dónal Carmody, Bristol, UK - 24/06/2014
Really well structured class tonight from Dónal, where the warm-up fed perfectly into drills and then the technique. One of Dónal's favourite warm-ups is the 'gorilla', where you post on your fists, squatting low in a crouch, then hop sideways pushing off your knuckles. He added in a variation on that, sliding through, along with the similar 'duck walk', where you're walking forwards in the same crouched position. That was followed by guard pass drilling, where Dónal made a point of telling everyone to crouch low as you passed: this improves your base, as if you rise up and try to drive into them, it is easier for them to shove their feet into your hips and lift you over their head. That's impossible if you're in a crouch.
The technique continue the same principles. I've seen the leg squash pass a few times now, beginning with a private Dónal taught last year. That time it was in combination with a knee cut, whereas tonight Dónal was demonstrating it from half guard. Pop your trapped knee up and slide it over their leg slightly. Grab the knee of their other leg, cupping underneath. Lift and move it across to the opposite side. This is where the drilling from earlier comes in, using that sideways motion to bring their legs across.
Sprawl back on top of their legs. More specifically, your groin is by the back of their knees, ideally with the point of your hip pressing into the middle of their thigh. Although it feels counter-intuitive, don't go up on your toes. Sink your weight through your hips into their legs, with your own legs draped on either side. Almost certainly they are going to move, especially if you're being mean and digging the point of your hip into the 'dead leg' point of their thigh. Once they do, backstep and pass around the other side.
If they don't move, then you could bring your lower leg back to hold their legs in place as you backstep. That has the disadvantage of slightly easing off the pressure, so Dónal suggests simply swinging that backstepping leg up, which keeps the weight through the point of your hip.
Sparring was mostly with beginners, starting off with a brief bit of nogi (which I wouldn't normally do, but it was really hot, so as I had my spats on anyway, I just took my gi off and threw on a shirt). I put my gi back on for the next couple of rolls, working on top control and eventually moving in to an omoplata (though I don't think I would have got that on someone more experienced: he left his arm in as he was trying to escape from a previous position). Last roll was with a more experienced white belt. I tried the same two sweeps from the open mat, looking for the underhook. He immediately put in a whizzer, which was perfect as that meant I could try the whizzer counter roll.
However, he was wise to it, so released the whizzer. I attempted to switch to the toe grab, but couldn't quite get it in position. I think I then sloppily knocked him over somehow, ending up on his back to wriggle through the rear naked choke. I used the thing Rickson taught at his seminar last year, where you blocking their defending hand while pushing your choking arm through. Seemed to work well.